Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Sea Otters

Sea Otters, originally uploaded by macatay.

We traveled a long way today - ninety-six miles from Sointula, out and around Cape Scott, and then down to Quatsino Sound. It was an easy passage in calm weather. We were happy with our progress, but really thrilled with the welcome we got as we approached the anchorage in Browning Inlet. The mouth of the inlet was literally teeming with sea otters. There were dozens and dozens resting together in a tight raft - adults of all sizes, babies. Plus, all around the inlet, single otters or pairs. From the boat now at dusk we can see a dozen or more. The photo shows the typical resting position - floating on the back, with feet in the air. The front feet are usually busy - grooming the long fur or eating. Sea otters were wiped out on the BC coast by trade with the Chinese, who prized their fur. A program to reintroduce them, begun in the late 1960's, has been incredibly successful, especially on this northwest coast of Vancouver Island. Encountering them feels like a special welcome back to the wild west coast.


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